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Collection Development Policies: Levels of Collection

Two values, represented by numbers and letters, are given for each sub-subject, and a third will occasionally be present. The first value indicates the Current Collection Strength, and the second indicates the Current Collecting Intensity. The third value, when present, indicates the Desired Collection Intensity. By scanning the values from top to bottom the reader can quickly ascertain which subject areas the Library considers in need of strengthening and where the Library would put additional resources if they were available. As policy statements are revised, this third value will be added.

The values are those developed by the Research Libraries Group according to the follow scheme:

0     Out of Scope: the library does not collect in this area.

1     Minimal Level: a subject area in which few selections are made beyond very basic works.

2     Basic Information Level: a collection of up-to-date general materials that serve to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. It may include dictionaries, encyclopedias, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, bibliographies, handbooks, a few major periodicals, in the minimum number that will serve the purpose. A basic information collection is not sufficiently intensive to support any courses or independent study in the subject involved.

3     Instructional Support Level: a collection that is adequate to support undergraduate and MOST graduate instruction or sustained independent study; that is adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for a limited or generalized purposes, of less than research intensity. It includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of the works of more important writers, a selection of representative journals, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.

4     Research Level: a collection that includes the major published source materials required for dissertations and independent research, including materials containing research reporting new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It is intended to include all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field. Older material is retained for historical research.

5     Comprehensive Level: a collection in which a library endeavors, so far as is reasonably possible, to include all significant works of recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, other forms), in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. This level of collecting intensity is one that maintains a "special collection": the aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness. Older material is retained for historical research.

In addition the following language codes are frequently added to the values:

E     English language material predominates; little or no foreign language material in the collection.

F     Selected foreign language material include, primarily Western European, in addition to the English language material.

W     Wide selection of foreign language material in addition to the English language material.

Y     Material is primarily in one foreign language.